Roads and railways

Whenever you travel along a road or a railway you are benefiting from something which was considered in, or initiated by, Parliament.

Members needed to be satisfied that a road or railway project was feasible, in both engineering and financial terms and it was needed by the area it was to serve. Also, that it did not unnecessarily interfere with private interests or public rights and that any harm to these was outweighed by the likely benefits.


How Parliament has helped shape transport infrastructure from the 13th century until the present day

Key dates

Key dates

When did Parliament first consider a petition to levy road tolls? Key dates on the road to a modern transport infrastructure

Contemporary context

Contemporary context

From turnpikes to Crossrail Parliament and transport in a modern context

Further your research

Further your research

Additional reference material for more in depth research on the history of transport legislation in Britain

From the Parliamentary Collections

Explore records from the Parliamentary Archives about the origins of the London Underground

Kent Case Study

Find out about the impact of the South Eastern Railway on the village of Marden, Kent, in our Connecting with Communities case study.

Related information

Current parliament business on the topic of transport